Sunday, March 30, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
This picture is from 1996...Junior High. Toby Terrier is also in the pic...a puppet friend, who is boxed up in the closet for Josh to introduce to his kids someday. His friends were always entertaining to me. Smart, interesting and funny these young people were always welcome. There could be some drama from time to time...but those were some good times. Maybe those pictured would not agree. I know Junior High is not a time I would revisit if I had the choice. So what brought this up you ask...well...
Josh and Randi are in Ruston for the weekend and it is always so good to see them, but sometimes having Josh in the house conjures up all sorts of feelings..all sorts of memories.
Yesterday....Josh came for about an hour while Randi was getting a hair cut. He comes in, looks in the fridg for a snack and sits down and I look at him and I see this Josh guy who is now so much the same and yet so different. Sometimes it is surreal and the passage of time seems so sudden. He was telling Jim and I about his latest comedy find. He has a DVD so we can see for ourselves. It is a comedy series on HBO called, "Flight of the Conchords". We have had this same conversation before....insert different program titles like "Seinfeld", "Curb Your Enthusiasm", "Arrested Development", and going further back, "Animaniacs". He is essentially the same, the house is the same, Jim and I are the same....or so it seems to us...even the sofa is the same....but everything is changed.
I can't really explain the emotion I felt. It was not sadness, but it was a keen awareness that despite how much we want life to go in a same comfortable way we are always moving forward in time....changing. I was also aware that I am so blessed to be able to see my son Josh so often. I guess because of his age, I find myself thinking of the mothers of those service men in the Mideast who don't see their sons often, or worse, will never be able to see their sons again. Yes, I am ever mindful of my blessings.
But back to this reality of change. I confess I don't like change just because it usually means there is the element of the unknown. I look to the future and I know we have many wonderful times ahead, but there is also the knowledge that if you live long enough there are also difficult times as well. Early in my life this was evident because when I was 11 my father was killed in a car accident and suddenly everything changed for our family. This has probably shaped my personality somewhat because I know you can be going along and BAM you will have to change direction and you didn't have any choice in the matter. In hindsight I do see the Lord's hand in it all, but it was scary and it was tough. Yes, all things do work together for good for His children....so I hang on to this fact. I alos have little saying which hangs in my bathroom so I will be reminded each morning that, "I know not what the future holds, but I know who holds the future." Because I know it will ultimately all be good...but I confess it is hard for me not to know exactly what the journey will be like. Is that lack of faith? I don't think so... but maybe it really is.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
As I was looking through boxes and drawers of memorabilia I found one of the later columns I had saved. I saved if for Josh to have.....well, I guess I am the keeper of the memories in my family, so I have it. Here is the 17 year old column:
If there 's a more seasonal topic for early August, yours truly can't imagine what. And as of 7:00 this morning, Nama and Papa Boller saw the finish of five weeks-plus with an extra person in the Katherine St. hillside home.
Grandson Josh joined us back on June 22 (seems a long time yet not a long time ago) for several weeks' stay in the Pennsylvania hills, away from his actual residence in the piney hills of nothern Louisiana.
The very pressence of this eight-year-old young lad in the homestead made if feel very much like vacation time to both of the grandparents, as it does each summer season about this same time.
Somehow, a boy or girl in pre-teens can really take one back with memories of earlier years when several in this category blessed the homestead. Been a decade now since youngest gal "left the nest". Matter-a-fact, she'll be back this very weekend for her tenth year reunion of ther PAHS Class of '81.
So it seems that having youth in the household for a significant period of weeks does indeed rejuvenate the grandparent figures.
'Twas indeed a joyous experience to transport Josh to things like swim team practice at Community Park pool and to watch all the young swimmers in the various competitions of the Tri-County Swim League.
Climax of all that ws the Tri-County Championship Meet at Bradford's Barcroft Pool this past weekend. Spent a delightful day in Callahan Park there witnessing and cheering for the Port swim crew as they took a significant share of the honors to come out in third place over all the competition of nine teams from a three county area.
Swim team practice and competition were not the only "back-to-youth" happenings of the past few weeks. In addtition, there were many afternoons at the park pool with Joshie, his parents and/or aunts who came visiting. And a couple of these visitors including grandgal Maura from Sharon, a little fem favorite of this writer whom you've heard about before. Possessing few water skills, yours truly and missus need such incentive to frequent any water recreational spots.
There were a couple of brief forays into the forested area which surrounds the home property at the east end of Baker's Acres, limited this summer by extreme heat of most of the five-week period. (Didn't manage to visit as far up as "The Rocks", which we vow we're gonna reach sometime this summer season, after the fruitless effort to do so last vacation time).
Yes, they joke about how great it is at this point in life to have the kids and/or grandkids visit, then what a relief it is when they depart. Somehow, relief isn't the emotion yours truly feels as he bats out thies week's comments in the almost deafening silence of the house this morning.
Once we were cleaning out and accidentally threw out a box with several essay tests from college, a term paper from high school and an essay from Jr. High on "Patience"....(we had to pick out the most important trait a person could have.) I thought that was pretty well thought out and well written and would like to have it to show the students at school a sample of my work at their age. I had some blue book tests from American Literature....and I thought the ideas that popped into my head were rather amazing. We were never sure what we were gonna have to write about so it was amazing to me they turned out as well as they did and surprisingly I usually got an A....if my miserable spelling didn't do me in. I once wrote a test on J.D. Salinger's short story, "A Good Day for Banana Fishing"....I think that was the name of the story and I misspelled "banana" the entire way through. I think I had an extra ana or something...hahaha. I once wrote boweling for bowling. That was my most embarrassing essay....hahaha.
Back to this cleaning out fear....I also have boxes of cassette taped sermons from all sorts of people. I used to listen to sermons all the time. It was like I couldn't get enough of them. I had a lot of questions and these tapes were ways I answered some. Now some are good and sound theology, but in hind sight some of these might be a bit off....too much word of faith theology, but they kept the eyes of my heart and mind on Jesus and for them I am thankful. I guess I need to cull through these three boxes and keep a few that mean a lot to me. But some how it is difficult to pitch out Kay Arthur's teachings and Dudley Hall.....Dudley was with James Robinson and was one of my favorites. I finally got to meet him and he is just a regular guy... that is what I like so much. I have some Billy Spinks tapes, too. He was a friend of the Boersmas and his sermons were always enlightening, sound, and balanced.
Although, many of these tapes are old and brittle. One even wrecked a tape player I have. It got all tangled up and messed it up. So did I throw out the tape player, you ask. Heck no! It has a radio that works fine and I use it in the am to listen to WAFR as I put my face on. hahaha....I guess if you want to say something good about me and my hording problem....I am not wasteful.
What is sad is some day someone will come in here with a bulldozer and it will be gone. I remember when my Grandmother died and her desk was FULL of every birthday card she ever got. I guess I come by this thing naturally. Every once and a while I will happen across a letter or card someone has written to me and it really made my day. I had even forgotten that act of kindness.. so I am conflicted. I wish I had the ability to just keep it all in my mind.
Is there an anti hording drug? Maybe Prozac helps with this ....hahaha. I keep thinking of manna. I would have been trying to keep some for sure. I think some of my happiest days were when I had two pairs of Levi jeans, a couple dresses, a good warm coat and some chukka boots and some cute tops...and 10 books and a radio and a typewriter....and of course my earth shoes I wore every day all day .....and my camera. I have always had a camera near....but I could fit it all into one room and one closet easily and I was perfectly happy. Oh...I did have a stereo and couple orange crates FULL of a wide variety of albums....everything from Brubeck and Bach to Frank Zappa. All of it fit in the back of a Chevy station wagon....now I would need a huge truck and I am not even counting furniture. If I were in college today it would probably be different. I didn't even have car then....weren't allowed until Jr. year. Yes, less is better, I have no doubt, but yet I can't seem to whittle it down. Back to the stuff.....
P.S. I can pretty much guess what fellow blogger, Lora, will have to say about all of this. She doesn't have the hording gene....she has the pitch it out gene. I guess she has a better memory than I do or something.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Yesterday a friend of my Mom's died. This lady was also a friend of Jim's Mom, yet my mother and Jim's mom didn't really travel in the same circles. One time they did intersect at a New Year's eve party where there were a lot of people. I was 11 and Jim sat down and played the piano at the party. I remember being amazed at how he didn't have any music he read from. Jim had been our paper boy when I was two until I was 5 and I had always known who he was, but never had known he was so talented. I was only 11 but I knew talent when I heard it. That would have made Jim about 23. I didn't see him again until I was 21. We went to NY state to hear a band and well...we have been together ever since.
Back to my Mom's friend....she was a constant in my life and always saw her when we went home. I feel badly about her sudden heart attack. She had just turned 83. I saw her at my Dad's 80th party and also Rudy's 90th last year about this time. I will miss her even though I rarely saw her.
I never knew her or her husband to go to church and I have thought about them many times since becoming a believer. These people are special to me and I am really feeling sad because I don't believe she was a Christian. If I am to believe my Bible.... and to me there is either believe it or don't believe it... she may not be with the Lord. Hopefully, there was a side to her I didn't know. I am feeling quite convicted about my inability to tell her about my experience with salvation. Sharing could have made a difference. I thought about telling them many times, but feared rejection from her and her husband....who was a good friend of my father's. (My dad passed away soon after that New Year's eve party....Jan. 7th in car accident.)
The sermon in church today was about the victory we experience because of the cross.... in light of her death, I was not feeling very victorious. My responsibility is to tell others about the treasure I have found and not to fear rejection because of it....but I didn't. My mother said she and my father are having similar thoughts. How will I explain this to my heavenlyFather? The comfort I find is that God is sovereign and all those that belong to Him will be His and it is not all on my shoulders...but then why do I feel so badly? It is painful and I am praying for the courage to talk to her husband when I go home this summer.
I love the Gaither song......Because HE Lives. These are the words I remember....
Because He lives we can face tomorrow
Because He lives all fear is gone!
Because I know who holds he future
Life is worth the living just because
How amazing! Jesus was not found in the tomb. The tomb was EMPTY!!!! He broke the power of sin and death. How complete and how wonderful. Father God didn't leave us without a savior because of His deep love. Yes, Adam and Eve/ human nature caused us separation, but praise the Lord, He is risen and we are reconciled. I love that Easter brings it to the forefront....it makes that fact center stage and it should be every day. And yet I didn't tell....what is my problem. Do you find a treasure....a treasure that is free to all and then not tell?
So here I sit in front of a lap top with the most wonderful news in the world... the news that allows men and women to have access to the kingdom of God in this world and also in the next. I would love all humans no matter what they have done.....seriously no matter what, to come to the knowledge of the Lord's love and to embrace Him and look to Him as their only hope.... but how do I demonstrate this? The hard truth it I really don't....and that hurts.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
But in 1986 right on the heals of my Shirley McClain foray into New Age religion the Lord decided He had had enough of my foolishness and He revealed Himself to me as the answer to all my questions. I was shocked to say the least that after all the consideration I had given to all the gods, goddesses, channelers, spirit guides, crystals, and space aliens that Jesus was standing off to the side all this time patiently waiting, loving, providing, and protecting me. My faithlessness didn't deserve it, but He gave it anyway. I am not going to give you all the details....maybe someday I will write it all up, but I was truly lost and then Jesus shined His light and I was found.
Before 1986 language such as this had no meaning to me and seemed to be used only by people I thought were intellectually challenged and didn't have the courage or the imagination to consider all the alternatives that seemed so much more reasonable and satisfying in my mind. To put it bluntly, I just thought I was a lot smarter than those religious bigots out there. Jesus to me seemed like a crutch and a safe way to travel through life or an excuse to not think and to narrow mindedly see the world safely painted in black and white. I on the other hand being more enlightened wallowed in shades of gray and had long given up on there being THE truth out there. Secretly I envied those who thought they had found truth, but also felt sorry for these poor deluded so and sos....hahaha.
Well, the joke was on me and in all my "wisdom" I had over looked all the things I had been told in Sunday school. I guess when I found out there was no Easter Bunny and there was no Santa Clause I subconsciously just jumped one more step and figured Jesus was just another one of those icons children love that really doesn't exist. I really felt deceived when I found out about Santa and the giant Bun Rab....funny thing is I did the same thing to my son years down the road and he exclaimed, "All these years you lied to me!!!???" He was seriously disturbed about all that just as I had been...... but I digress... my point is that for some reason I had dismissed Jesus.....Jesus as THE one and only Son of God. I treated Him like a nice story I was once told and I didn't see Jesus as the Lamb of God who took my place as a sin offering therefore allowing me to enjoy God and His presence in this life and also in the next. (which lasts a really lonnnnnggggggg time I might add.) I guess it seemed to simplistic plus I guess I didn't always feel like a sinner. You can't be found if you never know you are lost....after all I was a good person who demonstrated compassion and tried to treat others as I wanted to be treated. The golden rule seemed to fit all religions and I thought I was doing pretty good.
As I read the scripture which is like a mirror....with no distortions, I started to see who I really was. I began to understand my need for a savior. And it was soon apparent to me that not only did I desperately need a savior, but I needed to be totally over hauled. Now just let me say I am still in the process of being over hauled and when I first became a believer I thought that whole process would take a couple days, I didn't realize my impatience and I am still turning around on the potter's wheel these 22 years later. When we compare ourselves to our Lord it is amazing how our "goodness" pales by comparison and we just don't win the battle with sin, the flesh, and the devil over night. (oh yes, with my new found belief in Jesus, I soon found out the there really was a devil and he was mad as hell that I had a changed teams......that too will be left for another time.)
I am just praying as I am being transformed by the renewing of my mind, that I don't take too many steps backwards. A bumper sticker I saw sums it up...."Christians are not perfect, just forgiven." I hope unbelievers don't look at Christians and make their decision about who Jesus is or who God is based on us....Christians are people and people have clay feet and will disappoint, but I promise the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit will not. Because of Easter, the empty tomb,transformation for us is possible. Whatever the struggle Jesus is able to transform a life twisted by sin into one that is beautiful and whole. I am not there yet, but through the help of the Holy Spirit, a result of EASTER I might add, I know that He who began this good work in me will be faithful to complete it. There is no other holiday out there in any culture that can top that message!!! So you see Easter is the BEST holiday!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
When I get to school and I find out LEAP testing is all over except for in library land...hahaha. I am in the library so I was to monitor some eighth graders and some 7th graders as they finished the last part of the test. I knew one boy would be in there as his grandfather passed away and he said he was going to the funeral....anyway......we had to tippy toe around again. Thankfully they finished up by third hour and classes could resume their visits to the library.
All my neighboring teachers were moving to other parts of the building today so they can paint their rooms, redo the lights, and paint. Jeananne my immediate neighbor....through the secret doorway into the computer lab will be gone. It will seem strange to think she is not over there to rescue me if something goes wrong with one of the library computers. All this shuffling around of classes has been a routine every few weeks.....move out, redo and then move back in.....but I am the only one my neighborhood who was not moving. I went through all of that last year in April right after the Book Fair pulled out of the driveway. I am thankful that is all behind me.
It was just a strange day; it was manic because there was a good note. I met Marj, former secretary to RJHS for many years and fellow N. Pennsylvanian native at Starbucks. We hugged and I had my usual Chia Latte and it was sooo good. YUM! (No, it didn't completely wash the metallic taste from my mouth, but it helped.) Marj is retired and she was telling me about her latest trips and her plans for her next trip. She is loving spending time with her grands in Alabama and just getting out of the rat race of the work world. We talked very little about school and hashed over several subjects. It is always good to talk with Marj. I really miss her at school....I know she is going to move someday, but I try not to think about that cuz that will leave me without any PA buddy to hang out with. She ended up following me home to meet baby, Sophie and see Jim's yard barn. Jim had just given Sophie a bath so she was WHITE and FLUFFY. Naturally, she loved Marj and wanted to lick her hand off. She didn't act quite as crazy as she usually does, but the bath had taken a lot of her vim and vigor....so she behaved rather normally. I think Marj liked her and enjoyed the tour of Jim's "man shack". She loved the attic.
After Marj left she took the good part of the day with her. Sophie and I were walking around the yard and I saw she had something in her mouth and I picked her up and reached into her mouth to see if she had a gumball, but she had a mushroom....or rather a toad stool. One of my library aides just told me about her little Maltese that died from eating one from her yard. I read on the net and find out that most of those things are poisonous....especially to dogs. Well, I had gotten out of her mouth, but there is a small chunk that was missing, so I am wondering if she has swallowed it. If she did swallow it there wasn't much at all, but one mushroom from LA. I was reading about said half of one would kill a large man! So to kill a five and a half lb. dog wouldn't take too much. Jim feels sure she will be just fine...I feel about 90% sure. I will be glad when 48 hours have passed and she is fine. Between the tick and now this....our yard is a dangerous place!
(I still can taste that strange taste a little bit....I am praying it is gone when wake up in the morn. What the heck is it anyway!? )
So you see this really was a manic Monday! Hopefully, tomorrow won't be so lucky. :-)
Sunday, March 16, 2008
I visited with the Boersmas for a little bit today. David showed me how to make cinamon toast to die for! I sorta wish he hadn't done that....wonder how many calories are in one piece? Jean (Mark's mother-in-law), had been here for a visit but returned today to Memphis, TN. today. Helen said that marriage made them family, but Christ made them sisters. They both beam the same way when they talk about their grandchildren in Malawi. Jackson, Kelly Grace and Kate who are so special and I know how hard it is for them to be so far from them. Jean got an up close look at the daily care routine. Dr. Dale is not demanding, but he has personal needs that are being attended to round the clock. Helen is also trying to make sure he stays free of bed sores and she stimulates circulation by massaging his feet and legs.....and arms. If it were not for her need for sleep she would do it all herself..... when I think of them when I am at school or when I wake in the night ....I pray. I pray for Dr. Dale, Helen,...also David and Rachel who are there much of the time to help out. Joanna is here now and I will be praying for her as well. Please join me to pray for this sweet family.
I have been searching the Internet to find out what is wrong with Jim's leg. It hurts and we think it is either a stress fracture in his bone, or tendinitis. Dr. Helen and Dr. Lora seem to lean toward tendinitis....but Jim thinks it is his bone that hurts. I imagine it is hard to tell which is hurting in there. All I know is he needs to keep from hurting it again, whatever it is. He has been up and down the stairs in the yard barn and I told him he can't ride 70,000 miles a year for 19 years and then start working so hard. I have been telling him to rest, but he doesn't usually heed my advice. Hopefully he will be careful and this too will pass. If it isn't better in a month he will have to see an osteo doc for an x-ray. I got him some Crocks cuz they are so spongy and it will better than walking around in his socks on this tile floor. I love the look of tile but it is HARD and very unforgiving. Lora is right, getting older is not for whimps!!
This is a four day week at school....then off for a week, then one week of school before the Book Fair begins. I will try to round up some parent helpers this week. It gets harder each year as most Moms and Dads are working. If it was just about the money I could sell pens or pencils all year, but it is so important for the students to get at least a book they would like to read....they can get some books for summer reading. I sure hope they will read some this summer. Scholastic usually sends a variety and there is something for everyone. Anyone is welcome so if you are in the hood April 7-11 come and check it out!! Like I said there is something for everyone!
Friday, March 14, 2008
Jim made fun of me cuz I put all my best jewelry on before getting in the closet...he said they would find me in a tree hanging from my pearls...haha. I got in there and wished I had all my disks with my photos.... I also took my lap top in there. All Jim brought was his puppy.
We sat there and prayed. We knew Dr. Dale couldn't go to an inside room or closet and we were worried, but the Lord was good and he watched over all of us. As far as I know this weather system hasn't hurt anyone. I pray it does not as it travels east.
I know the Lord hears our prayers and He hears prayers concerning weather. Sometime in the early 90's I was watching the 700 Club. This was before I worked full time...anyway there was a huge hurricane heading toward Virginia Beach and Pat Robertson stopped the program....which was live.....and he read scripture and then he and the audience prayed and rebuked the hurricane and told it to go back. Well, there were a whole group of Catholic Nuns in the audience that day and I still remember them standing up with their arms outstretched praying against the hurricane. Meanwhile, I was checking the weather channel every few minutes. It was amazing but that hurricane STOPPED soon after and just sat there and then started moving out to sea and away from land! It was nothing short of amazing. The guy on the Weather Channel couldn't understand it and that night it made the nightly news.... I can't remember which, ABC, NBC or CBS.... but they said it was unprecidented and some weatherman said he had never seen anything like that before. Meanwhile, none of these people knew about the mighty prayer of the people at the 700 club or the Catholic Nuns in the audience that prayed with such authority!
I believe I witnessed a miracle that day. It was right up there with Clarance Thomas getting through his confirmation process. The Lord intervened there also....and that too was a storm, a spiritual storm.
Monday, March 10, 2008
I didn't call my parents today to check on their weather situation. The snow has been really something up there! I am thankful they have wonderful neighbors who look out for them, Squeek and Gloria. Squeek has been snow blowing their drive way and the other day when the snow was too heavy he shoveled it out. Squeek and Gloria are talking about moving when they retire....in a couple years. Maybe my parents will have to move here then....fat chance. They hate the heat and love PA. I can't imagine them ever leaving there. Friends of theirs have moved to Florida and other states, but they have lived in PA their whole lives.
Well, we survived our first day of testing at school today, four more to go. Please continue to pray for all the kids in the Parish.... they worked hard today and it is only the beginning.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
The most despicable acts of deceit ongoing in this country are the lies and hypocrisy perpetrated by the people seen in this short video. Here's a video compilation you definitely won't see on main stream media. The next time you hear the expression "Bush's war" remember this---- note that there's no "opinion," just direct video which deserves wide distribution.
Close out my blog after you click on this so you won't hear Michael Jackson's, "Bad"....that is for the previous Sophie posting..... although it is good to go with some of the folks on this video!
The song in the back ground of this video is a song called, "The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys". I have been wondering if that was intentional.....
Today promises to be better......got a good night's sleep and the SUN IS OUT! Yipeeeeee. Yesterday was a lost day.....never really got out from under the headache hangover cloud. Didn't have any appetite even though the headache had been vanquished. But still, I want my Saturday back! I wish Superman could come and fly around the earth and make the earth turn backwards until we went back in time.....remember when he did that? Gotta love him.
Gonna catch up on some school stuff and return something to Walmart and try a new recipe. Jim is trying to get on the upside of his cold....it has to be time for it to start going back to where ever it came from. He slept like a rock last night, so both of us got some much needed rest. He doesn't sleep well when he has a cold and is pretty much a bear to be around, so I am glad he seems to be back to normal.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
When I bought my Neti pot ….a couple weeks ago, I also purchased some Kombuncha tea in the refrigerator section of the local health food store. I had no idea what it was but it was Ginger and I love ginger ale and this stuff had ginger and no added sugar so I thought it sounded good. What the hey… I am bored with water!!! I don’t drink soft drinks at all cuz they just make me feel badly. Well, popped it in the fridg and forgot all about it.
When I got out of bed this noon I came into the kitchen and started snooping around for some coffee or something….thought maybe some caffeine would scare the monster headache away and then I remembered the ginger tea stuff….couldn’t even remember what it was called….got some out and poured a glass. Well, it isn’t all that yummy, but after drinking about four ounces over the course of about 15 minutes my headache nearly alllllllll gone!! I decided to research this stuff on my handy dandy lap top. (I just love having a reference library on my lap!)
What I learned on the net:
A mysterious drink called kombucha has infiltrated supermarkets nationwide. Available in flavors that range from sweet grape to earthy red tea with peach, its labels promise a stunning array of health benefits, including improved digestion, a happier outlook on life and healthier hair, and stop a millimeter short of claiming it fights cancer. Low in sugar and calories and high in hype, kombucha (pronounced kom-BOO-cha) is the latest health-food craze to cross over from bohemian kitchens to the brightly lit shelves of mainstream grocers.
A teenager named G.T. Dave made his first kombucha sale, delivering to a Los Angeles health-food store, via his mother's Land Cruiser, a 12-bottle batch he had brewed in his parents' kitchen.
The Dave family had long been brewing and drinking kombucha, after receiving a culture from friends. Laraine Dave, G.T.'s mother, credited their home-brew for possibly slowing the spread of an aggressive form of breast cancer before her diagnosis, and for keeping up her strength and spirit during chemotherapy. (she is now cancer free). Mr. Dave wanted to spread the drink's benefits by sharing kombucha cultures. "But nine out of 10 people came back and said, 'My kombucha came out weird,'" he recalls. So G.T. Dave decided to bottle raw kombucha and bring it to the world. A few years later, he won his first Whole Foods account.
This is what I ended up with in my frig….GT’s Raw Ginger Kombucha. I also read on the net to drink about 4 ounces per day to maintain health. It is very good for your digestive tract a lot like yogurt. I have read a bunch of testimonials and they claim it will add vitality to your skin and boost your energy. One guy said it got rid of his gray hair…..I am not holding my breath. It is anti yeast infection and gets your gut back into balance….so what do I have to lose? 2.000 years this stuff has been around in China. Can ALL those people through the ages be kooks?
Now I am not 100% sure this stuff made my headache disappear, but it does seem curious. They usually don’t go away until I have served my time….about a day and a half. So I will try it again next time I get a headache and see what happens. Maybe if I start drinking four ounces a few times a week I will not get the headaches…..who knows. Maybe I should try to brew my own….sounds like a Science Fair project. Haha Kinda scary… growing fungus and all.
Because of cysts I am not suppose to drink caffeine and don’t usually unless I have a headache, but this stuff does give you a similar buzz and there is no caffeine! This is what I need every day before school….just something first thing in the morning to give me that boost to get me going. Not having coffee has been extremely tough. I have been drinking it since I was 18. There may be some caffeine in this stuff, but it is probably slight if any. We shall see…..I am off for a bath …..going to salvage the other half of the day!
Thursday, March 6, 2008
I am asking for you to please pray for the students in Lincoln Parish next week as they test. There is a lot of anxiety out there concerning these tests. Students have been working so hard and here is a sad fact....this is the weekend we SPRING forward and we all know it takes a few days to settle into these time changes especially when we lose an hour of sleep. I am hoping the kids are more resilient than I am when it comes to time changes. It usually takes me a week.....at the very least to feel normal again after the time change...I don't know why, but I suspect there is all kinds of scientific proof and reasons for this. It is sad testing is going on the week after the big shift. Because it is lighter out I fear students will go to bed later than usual just when they need to get restorative sleep. I have watched tired kids take tests and many times they will write down anything for an answer and put their heads on their desks for a snooze. I actually remember a student who was a couple years older than my son put his head down and told me he didn't have to take the test because he had a late baseball game and went to sleep. There was no keeping him awake! Back in those days testing wasn't considered "high stakes" and he knew he could still go on to 9th grade even if he skipped the LEAP. I will never forget that guy! (Some of you would know this guy. He is still a hoot!)
Anyway, please pray for these kids to be alert and also for them to be patient. I find they can do so much better if their frustration level isn't high and they are patient. Sometimes if they can't figure out an answer right away they will just guess. This test wants to see if the kids can think and work through some thought processes, but if they are impatient and feel it is hopeless and don't go through the steps, they will guess and rarely does a guess get it. We also have students who are repeaters and are taking the test for the second time. They have A LOT of anxiety. Please pray for them to be calm.
In a perfect world every kid would get the sleep they need, the breakfast best for keeping their blood sugar level and their minds alert.....their recall would be 100% and they have the time and the inclination to go over their answers for errors.....BUT we know that is not how it usually works. Some students will not be able to sleep because they are worried about this test and some will eat nothing but donuts for breakfast thus setting them up for the mid morning blood sugar drop. Both may happen to some students.....so please lift up these kids. Also, lift up the teachers who will be reading test manuals this weekend. Also, please pray for there to be no unusual occurrences....family tragedies....or extreme weather. Weather changes always cause the students to be so stirred up. Thanks!!!!
On another note....I am very disturbed concerning the coeds who were murdered at NC and Auburn. My heart goes out to their families. In the last few weeks there have been several girls killed....so utterly insane and wasteful. One was taken off a sofa as she slept. I pray I never have to know this sort of pain up close. Seeing their young, hopeful faces in their pictures is so tragic. Please pray for their families.
On a lighter note...
They are saying maybe SNOW tomorrow!! Yipeee! (I am not going to hold my breath.) Sophie will be invisiable when we take her out to winky tink. I doubt she would like snow. She is getting groomed tomorrow and hopefully will look a bit more civilized. Jim took her to the vet for her last shots. The vet looked at Jim and said firmly, "these kind of dogs need to be groomed." Jim sheepishly said, "I know." Jim said she ran into a wall yesterday....so it is time!
Goodnight....I seem to be going to bed earlier and earlier every night. I guess that is a good thing!
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
I have mixed feelings about the testing. I think there might be too much emphasis on this test, but then again how do we gage the students' progress? I feel for the kids who have test anxiety. I was not the worst case out there, but I know my nerves were rather frazzled whenever I took any sort of tests. The last standardized test I took was the Praxis for Secondary English Certification. The guy behind me snuffed, snorted, coughed and wheezed his way through the test. I think I read everything numerous times because I was totally distracted by the cacaphony of various flem sounds. I wanted to wring his neck by the end. Needless to say I didn't finish, but I got a pretty good score, so I wonder if I would have done a lot better without Mr. Plague behind me. Another thing I did was I didn't look over any Shakespeare stuff as everyone I talked to who had taken this test said there were maybe three questions on there about Shakespearian characters, plays and poetry. WRONG. It was upsetting there were so many different question concerning characters and matching them with the correct play. I had to guess at most of that....I couldn't remember who was in which play. They didn't ask me questions like, "Lady Macbeth was a prominent character in which Shakespearian play?" They were more obscure characters....most I had heard of but was not quite sure. I could narrow it down to two and then it was the luck of the draw.
Anyway, back to this testing thing. I am spending this week reviewing the "Using Informational Resources" portion of the test. It is the library part....as everyone calls it. Students are given a booklet of sources....a magazine article, a web page, an index, an encyclopedia article, a table of contents and a copyright page and the students have to make conclusions. Now these questions are sometimes a bit obtuse because it will turn out that two answers are suitable, but one question is BETTER. Those make me nuts. Also, 8th graders are asked to write a bibliographic entry using a list of MLA models. This whole model concept is just greek to some students. I had to laugh when one of the new teachers mentioned how she had been trying to teach them to do a bibliography and they kept copying down the examples in place of the actual information from THEIR source. I have seen this over and over and no matter how many times I say, "Don't copy this....use it for your model, example, template, format......" it just doesn't seem to sink in. Girls usually do much better than the boys, but the idea of using it just for an example seems to mystify about 40-60% of the males. I tend to think there is a readiness factor here. All those commas, underlines, quotations and colons are just too much for them. And the fact the second line is indented .....(a hanging indent) well, forget that. Even some GT kids can't seem to get that. CRAZY!!! I have showed them and sat individually and talked to them step by step, but then when they have to do it alone......it is like they never heard one thing I said. Man!!!!! It is a wonder I have any hair.
We had a class in 11th grade called, "The Term Paper" . It was half the year and we learned all those fun things...foot notes, bibliographies and such. We kept a box of note cards with our info and our sources. It was a huge deal, but it was understood that kids under 16 just didn't have what it took for all that detail. I am beginning to see the wisdom in that. We just had to learn it before hitting the hallowed halls of higher education and I think it was fine.
I actually took my son out of the gifted and talented program in second grade when he came home all upset because he had lost his bibliography cards in the woods on his way home from school. He cut through a path on his bike and the card flew all over. He was freaking out and then he started telling me about being in trouble for having his colons and commas in the wrong places. I thought that second grade was WAY too early to have an ulcer over a term paper. He told me, "Mom, if you don't get me out of there I will mark all the wrong answers on the CAT (California Achievement Test). You know I know the right ones, and I WILL put the wrong ones." I would have taken him out without the threat.
Back to testing.....some people are totally against testing at all, but then how will we know? I am just wondering if the test itself isn't a bit advanced. I look at the practice test and I am thankful I didn't have to take it when I was an 8th grader. There is a lot of writing and for students who have trouble reading this is especially tough. Then there is the idea there are so many different types of intelligence. I guess that has always been that way. Kids who were good with their hands and could fix anything or those who were very artistic sometimes were not the best academic students, but somehow they ended up feeling inferior. I believe we are comparing apples and oranges and trying to get every kid to fit into the round hole when in fact they are a square peg. Nothing wrong with square pegs....and I go even further....without those square pegs this would be a really boring world with a lot of broken stuff!